Ford’s get �350m to develop green’ eco-friendly van engines

THE Government is backing Ford’s �1.5bn investment to develop a new green’ generation of eco-friendly motor engines and technologies by chipping in with �360m loan guarantees, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced

By Mike Brooke

THE Government is backing Ford's �1.5 billion investment to develop a new 'green' generation of eco-friendly motor engines and technologies.

It is chipping in with �360 million loan guarantees towards projects over the next five years, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced.

Ford's proposals safeguard 2,800 skilled jobs at its East London plant at Dagenham, its research centre at Dunton in Essex and two other plants at Southampton and Bridgend.

The company currently provides 29 per cent of Britain's automotive research and development.

The Government guarantees through its 'Automotive Assistance' programme also back a �450m loan being considered by the European Investment Bank.

The six projects to be supported cover research and development for commercial vehicles such as the Transit and Connect vans and development of low carbon emission diesel and petrol engines.

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A quarter of all Ford engines worldwide and more than half its diesel engines are made in the UK.